Can You Resurface Drilled and Slotted Rotors?

Drilled and slotted rotors are popular among car enthusiasts for their performance. But, they need resurfacing to continue working properly.

Factors such as extent of wear must be considered. Resurfacing helps remove imperfections, vibrations, and improves contact between the brake pads and rotor.

Not all rotors can be resurfaced though. If the manufacturer has specific tolerances, it’s best to replace them.

The origin of these rotors is from racing applications. They were designed to cool better during high-speed driving. Now, street drivers enjoy them too.

Understanding Drilled and Slotted Rotors

Grasping the concept of drilled and slotted rotors is essential. These rotors are used in high-performance vehicles. They improve braking efficiency by reducing brake fade and heat dissipation. Let’s explore their features!

Drilled rotors have strategically placed holes that:

  • Cool the rotor efficiently
  • Enhance wet braking performance
  • Reduce weight and improve vehicle handling

Slotted rotors have slots that:

  • Provide quicker stopping
  • Remove debris, water, and gases from the rotor
  • Prevent gas layers from forming between the brake pad and rotor

Drilled and slotted rotors possess unique characteristics. Therefore, resurfacing them is not recommended. Doing so may compromise their integrity and performance, leading to safety risks. Replacing them with new ones is advised for optimal braking efficiency.

Brake & Front End Magazine states that drilling or slotting holes can alter the structural integrity of a rotor, making resurfacing impractical for drilled and slotted rotors.

Advantages of Resurfacing Drilled and Slotted Rotors

Resurfacing drilled and slotted rotors has many benefits. Such as:

  • Enhanced Performance: Uneven surfaces or glazing can be removed, so the rotors and brake pads have optimal contact and friction. Resulting in more effective stopping power.
  • Lengthened Rotor Life: By eliminating surface irregularities, premature wear and tear is avoided, making the rotors last longer.
  • Budget Solution: Rather than buying new rotors, resurfacing your existing ones is much cheaper.
  • No Break-in Period: Resurfaced rotors don’t need one, since their tolerances remain the same.
  • Quieter Braking: Noise issues can be eliminated, giving you a smoother ride with no vibrations or squeaking.

Plus, improved heat dissipation is achieved due to better thermal conductivity.

This practice started in motorsports. Race cars used these rotors to cool down during intense races. Eventually, people understood their benefits beyond racing and started using them in regular vehicles. Now, resurfacing drilled and slotted rotors is a popular choice amongst automotive enthusiasts who want great braking performance and long-lasting rotors.

Steps to Resurface Drilled and Slotted Rotors

  1. Check for any cracks or deep grooves on the rotors. Replacement may be needed if severely damaged.
  2. Use a wrench or socket set to remove the rotors from the vehicle. Don’t damage the brake caliper or brake pads.
  3. Clean the rotors using a brake parts cleaner and wire brush. Get rid of any dirt, rust, or debris.
  4. Clamp the rotors securely onto a lathe machine. Resurface by taking off a thin layer from the surface. This will restore smoothness and even wear to the rotor.
  5. Use a dial indicator to check the runout of the rotor. Make sure it meets manufacturer specifications.
  6. Reinstall the rotors back onto your vehicle, following proper torque specifications.
  7. Not all drilled and slotted rotors can be resurfaced. Consult the vehicle’s manufacturer guidelines before attempting to resurface them.
  8. Drilled and slotted rotors have become popular due to their heat dissipation and enhanced braking performance.

Precautions and Tips for Resurfacing Drilled and Slotted Rotors

Resurfacing drilled and slotted rotors needs attention. Here are some key tips:

  • Check for wear, cracks, or damage before resurfacing.
  • Make sure they’re within minimum thickness specs.
  • Use a lathe machine designed for rotors.
  • Keep original shape and size of slots and holes.
  • Clean rotor surface prior to installation.
  • Tighten rotors with proper torque specs.

To make the process even better, some extra details can help. Follow manufacturer depth limits for drilling or chamfering slots. Also, use appropriate tools and techniques to reduce heat buildup and prevent distortion.

Mechanics in the past didn’t take these steps. This led to bad brake performance. Nowadays, we know better. Following guidelines for resurfacing rotors leads to safer driving for everyone.


It is important to consider the condition of the rotor before attempting to resurface it. Resurfacing should only be done on rotors that are within their specifications and are undamaged. Removing a small amount of material helps create a smooth finish, boosting braking performance and reducing noise and vibration. However, not all rotors can be resurfaced. Some rotors may have a thin coating or heat treatment that can be damaged during the process. It is best to consult with a professional or refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Pro Tip: Regular inspection and maintenance of the braking system, including the rotors, will help ensure optimal performance and extend their lifespan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you resurface drilled and slotted rotors?

A: Yes, drilled and slotted rotors can be resurfaced. However, it is important to consider the condition of the rotors, as resurfacing may not always be the best option.

Q: How do I know if my drilled and slotted rotors can be resurfaced?

A: If the rotors are within their minimum thickness specifications and have no significant damage, they can usually be resurfaced. It is best to consult a professional mechanic for an accurate assessment.

Q: What are the benefits of resurfacing drilled and slotted rotors?

A: Resurfacing can help restore the smoothness and performance of the rotors by removing any warping or unevenness. This can enhance braking efficiency and reduce noise and vibration.

Q: Are there any drawbacks to resurfacing drilled and slotted rotors?

A: One potential drawback is that resurfacing removes a thin layer of the rotor’s material, reducing its overall thickness. This means that the rotors may need to be replaced sooner in the future.

Q: Can I resurface drilled and slotted rotors myself?

A: It is generally recommended to have drilled and slotted rotors resurfaced by a professional with the right equipment and expertise. This ensures proper reconditioning and avoids any potential mistakes.

Q: How much does it cost to resurface drilled and slotted rotors?

A: The cost of resurfacing drilled and slotted rotors can vary depending on factors such as the type of vehicle and the mechanic’s rates. It is best to contact local service providers for accurate pricing information.